TUESDAY, 13 MAY 2014
Hyperaccumulators are of great value as they can be used to extract metals from contaminated soils, a process known as phytoremediation, and collect commercially valuable metals, or Phytomining.
Nonetheless, of the 450,000 species of vascular plants known, only 450 are hyperaccumulators, and of these only 1% can accumulate the concentrations that the newly discovered species, Rinorea niccolifera, can. This species can store up to 18,000 ppm by weight, making their dried leaves almost 2% nickel, reports leading author Edwino Fernando in PhytoKeys.
The researchers hope that the discovery of this species may encourage future research into applications of hyperaccumulators for soil purification.
Written by Ornela De Gasperin Quintero.